King Calls for Mandatory State-Funded MRIs for Boxers

Injured boxer Image: en.wikipedia.org

Queensland boxer Shannon King took to the canvas on the weekend against talented super middle-weight Liam Hutchinson. The two fought at the Mansfield tavern on Saturday, the first sanctioned boxing match since the death of Toowoomba fighter Braydon Smith.

King is a boxing trainer, coach of Reds rugby star Quade Cooper, veteran fighter, gym owner and long-time advocate for mandatory, government-funded MRI scans for combat athletes.

Professional fighters are required to have regular scans in South Australia, but no such checks are required in Queensland. Individuals may decide to get the scans done, but they then face a hefty $250 bill.

“We need bulk billed MRIs for fighters,” said Smith. “It is $250 for each MRI, so promoters can’t afford that.

“If a promoter has ten fights, that’s 20 fighters and $5,000 – and who can afford that?

“If you are a professional athlete in a combat sport you should be able to access an MRI every six months for free from the government.”

At the same time king said, “Football is more dangerous than boxing. Since I have trained Quade (Cooper) he has had a shoulder reconstruction, a broken collarbone, and he was knocked out in a Test in England.

“In that same time I have had five boxing fights and all I have had is 12 stitches.”

On wonders then if King believes all footballers should have access to free MRIs as well?

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